Balmoral Day 14

Written by Safarigal
February 4, 2024

January 31st, 2024

At Sea

Last day – and time to do the packing. This wasn’t too much of a challenge, but there was a lot to do on board. Being the last day there was the ukulele concert, choir concert, arts and crafts exhibits as well as the usual busy schedule of lectures and a piano recital from Maria.

We thought we would sit in the Observation Lounge at the front of the ship and get some work done while we were waiting for Hazel to clean our cabin. It was very noisy there, especially as someone from the spa was giving a talk on toxins (which it turns out are everything I like) but you can see him for an analysis and buy some very expensive magic potion from him and all will be well. No thank you.

After he left the tap dance class started, so we decided at that point to find a quieter place to sit. The deck 7 lobby, pub and café were all full, and very noisy, so we retreated down to the deck 6 lobby (which is called the Oriental Tea Room).

It is called a tea room and they do serve fancy tea there, but it is still in the middle of the lobby, across from Guest Services and Shore Tours, which being the last day of the cruise were very busy, although I did manage to catch a photo on a rare quiet moment.

I found it all rather over stimulating, but at least we had somewhere to sit until Hazel was finished in our cabin.

All of the lunches had been extremely bland until now, but surprise surprise, there were small lobster tails (or were they large shrimp) in the buffet today. Of course everyone was grabbing as many as they could, and I don’t think they would last long. They were delicious – hence I had eaten half of my one before I could take a photo.

Then it was time for packing. Our menagerie of towel creatures had been whisked away, for which Brian was very grateful as it was getting very difficult to move around our cabin.

I read the disembarkation information – breakfast ends at 8:00 tomorrow and we have to be our of our cabin by 8:00. That sounded a bit early, but I know they have to get the ship ready for the new hoard of passengers.

I also noticed on the disembarkation instructions that you had to return your bath robes and pay for cleaning, and also return and pay for the use of any adaptors you had used. Maybe that’s the thing I dislike the most about Fred Olsen apart from the food and crowded spaces, having to pay for the little things that really should be included in your cruise fare. It reminded me of Ryan Air where you only pay for the services you use. That’s OK on a cut price airline, but this was a very expensive cruise.  I still haven’t got over having to pay 2 pounds each a day if you want to change your assigned dinner seating.

Luckily we were in our favourite restaurant, Spey, by the window with really lovely table mates. Talking with them every evening was one of the highlights of the cruise. Anytime dining is fine, but I am still a fan of fixed late seating dining from time to time.

The show company did a great job of singing hits from the 70s and 80s, and it was the perfect end to the evening.

My only complaint was that the women dancers were in baggy white jump suits, which just looked like they had misplaced their costumes and were having to perform in their work out clothes. I remember vaguely that the Spice Girls wore white outfits from time to time, but they were far more attractive than these, especially as the boys were in bright sequined jackets.

I was happy that for the last set, they did look great.

Then it was time to head back to our cabin, walking by the crowded café where the string trio was playing. They are amazing, and so talented. Luckily we did find a seat, and were able to sit back and enjoy their final set.

All in all this has been a good cruise. There are several things I loved, like our cabin and the fast internet. There were several things we didn’t really like, like how crowded the ship felt, and the food in general. The ship itself is lovely, but in need of a makeover. Would we go on Fred again? Maybe if the itinerary was interesting. Cunard’s itineraries have been a bit boring of late, but that’s not surprising as their ships are large and cannot go into some of the interesting ports..

On Cunard I tend to book because of the ship, and I have never been disappointed. No chocolate martinis, no Coca Cola, you can’t bring your own Veuve Clicquot on board. These are not deal breakers, but I do so miss the Commodore Club. Roll on May when we will be back on Cunard again!

Post Discussion


You May Also Like…


February 1st,2023 London, UK There was no doubt about it – when we woke up we were back in Southampton and it was time to disembark. Being a huge ABBA fan I had though that we couldn’t get so close to the ABBA Arena and not see the show. Our...

Read More

Balmoral Day 13

January 30th, 2024 At Sea We have 2 sea days to look forward to. A good thing too, with all of the back to back ports, a bit of rest and relaxation is needed. The program on board was as busy as ever, no time to rest and relax if you wanted to...

Read More

Balmoral Day 12

January 29th, 2024 Leixoes Maybe it is fitting that our final port is Porto. Well it’s not really Porto as such, the port for Porto is called Leixoes (Lay- sh- oi-sh), and Leixoes is one of Portugal’s major ports. So far the terminals we have...

Read More


I love to share my adventures with others, and hopefully give them some insight into what to expect on their own exciting travels. I hope reading my blog will be a useful resource, and inspire others to follow their travel dreams. As a travel advisor, I get great pleasure out of being able to help folks fulfill their aspirations by translating my experience in safari adventures and ocean voyages into memorable travel experiences for them.